Large-scale fine-grained sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope (NW Mediterranean)

Marta Ribo, Pere Puig, Araceli Munoz, Claudio Lo Iacono, Pere Masqué, Albert Palanques, Juan Acosta, Jorge Guillén, María Gómez-Ballesteros

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Recently acquired swath bathymetry, high-resolution seismic profiles and bottom sediment samples have revealed the presence of large-scale fine-grained sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope. Like many other deep-water sediment waves, these features were previously attributed to gravitational slope failure related to creep-like deformation, and have now been reinterpreted as sediment wave fields extending from 250 m depth to the continental rise at ~850 m depth. Sediment wave lengths range between 500 and 1000 m and maximum wave heights of up to 50 m are found on the upper slope, decreasing downslope to a minimum height of 2 m. Seismic profiles showed continuous internal reflectors and several sediment wave packages were differentiated, being thicker on the crest of each wave and thinner on the downslope flank, indicating that these sediment waves are upslope-migrating. The sediment wave formation process was inferred from contemporary hydrodynamic observations, and internal wave activity is suggested to be the most probable mechanism for the sediment transport and deposition and subsequent maintenance of the sediment waves over the Gulf of Valencia continental slope.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAtlas of Bedforms in the Western Mediterranean
EditorsJorge Guillen, Juan Acosta, Francesco Latino Chiocci, Albert Palanques
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Chapter41
Number of pages265
ISBN (Electronic)9783319339405
ISBN (Print)9783319339382
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • sediment waves
  • continental slope
  • Gulf of Valencia
  • internal waves

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